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IN THE PEACE OF OLD ABYDOS           165
god Osiris himself had been secretly buried in the royal necropolis of Thinis, the bygone city which had once occupied this site. King Neferhotep placed on record the fact that he had found Abydos a jumbled mass of ruined masonry when he took up the sceptre of the Pharaohs, and he told how he had searched in the priestly library of Heliopolis for archives relating to the temple of Osiris which had anciently stood here; how after studying those archives, he was able to reconstruct the lost rites. His successors made further use of these documents to rebuild the ruins into fine structures and add to them more buildings. These temples stood amid the houses of the city of Thinis. Time had devoured them all, however.
In those earliest days of early Egypt the Mysteries of Osiris were a celebrated feature of the religion and Abydos was the first of all places in the land for this celebration. It was this which had made it one of the holiest spots and I knew it was the spiritual fragrance of that ancient atmosphere whose vibrations I had contacted—not that of the formalists rites which were daily enacted in this beautiful, but later, structure of King Seti. For the earliest history of Abydos was bound up with the history of Osiris himself, and takes the calendar back into that dateless epoch where the years melt away, the prehistoric epoch of Egyptian origin, the uncharted era before the rise of the Pharaohs. Those were the days when the gods had not vanished from the ken of man; when "the demi-gods," as the Egyptian historians called them, ruled the people. How wonderful, I mused, that by some mysterious process of psychically relayed vibrations the sublime atmosphere of prehistoric Abydos still lived on here and could be picked up again by a sensitive human receiving set.
Here, at Abydos, had been established the first and chief sanctuary of Osiris in all Egypt; but who was Osiris? Historical legend replies with a fantastic incredible myth of someone who was murdered, his scattered pieces being afterwards put together.
I sank the plummet of mind into this problem and waited for an answer. . . .
And out of the silence of the Past came this reply: One of the great ones of Atlantis foresaw the need of preparing a new habitat for his younger spiritual kith and kin and took them eastwards to what is now Egypt, fie had attained that superhuman stage of being which marked the demi-gods, and so he was not only a worldly ruler of his people but also as a god to